European states and the problem of maritime piracy, 1450-1750: two historical studies

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European states and the problem of maritime piracy, 1450-1750: two historical studies. [to come out as a monograph in the Research in Maritime History series, Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada]. Piracy as a feature of European history: Mediterranean villages perch s. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • European states and the problem of maritime piracy, 1450-1750: two historical studies.[to come out as a monograph in the Research in Maritime History series, Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada]

  • Piracy as a feature of European history: Mediterranean villages perchsFayence, Var, France.Vrisnik, Hvar, Croatia.

  • Fortified church of Sveti Marija, Vrboska, Otok Hvar dating from 1580s.

  • Pirates (from top left clockwise): Barbary corsairs, portrait by Pier Francesco Mola, 1650; Sir Henry Morgan, Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica, 1674-1688; Luso-Indian pirates flying Siamese flag with Malay crew, Ananda Ok-Kyaung temple murals; Anne Bonny, an Irish-American tearaway (1697-1720).

  • Portuguese maritime world, 1500-1800.

  • Janjira sea fort, western India (one-time base of Kanhoji Angria, `pirate or `Lord High Admiral of the Maratha fighting fleet, 1690s).

  • The Portuguese failure to address piracy. Monopoly rights to `navigation granted by papal bull of 1455, but contested both legally and in practice by jealous European powers like England and Spain and privateers operating under `letters of marque in the mid-Atlantic, off West Africa and on the trade run up to Antwerp.Indiscriminate violence in the Indian Ocean only stirred a violent response, which was allowed to consolidate piratic societies (the Mappilah).Office of `Provedor das Armadas da ndia, Brasil e Guin established at Angra (Azores) in 1520, but threadbare by the time of the Anglo-Spanish War of 1585-1604. Convoys for private traders had to be self-organised; royal licensing scheme well-intentioned but offered little practical support; viagens de rota batida becamethe norm.International tribunals (Bayonne, 1535) ineffectual; pay-offs of well-placed French admirals and court officials led nowhere.

  • A more successful example: the Royal Navy and the end of the `Golden Age of Piracy (1690-1725)A global approach to piracy from a self-conscious global trading power. Pirates were apprehended and brought back to London, not tried in the colonies, where there were often special interests present.Royal Navy became a sizeable (48.000 seamen in 1713), regular, professional body: part of government (via Admiralty), with its own courts, paid from regular subsidies voted through Parliament.Legislation: `Act for the More Effectual Suppression of Piracy (1700); bounties for pirate-hunters; tough penalties (Execution Dock, Wapping & gibbetting), alternating with royal pardons, conditional on pirates entering the armed forces in lieu of trial.Propaganda war so that other European nations became allies against a `common enemy, especially after Treaty of Utrecht (1713).Localised regime change (e.g. Adolf Esmit of Danish Virgin Islands removed, 1684).Piracy did not affect British trade growth over the `long 18th century

  • Ships and tonnages, 1680-1715.

    NumbersDisplacement tons (000s)YearLine of BattleCruisersBritishFrench Dutch1680952012913264169083261241416816951124617220810617001274919619511317101235720117111917151196320110898172010253174482217301054918973731740101581959191174510498231985517501151082761154117551171082771621131760135172375156137176513913637717512417701261123502191651775117115337199198178011718737227119617851371814472682111790145180459314242180012726454620412718051355691821391810152390726194100181512661622860

  • The 18th century growth in English trade.Source: Walter Minchinton, The growth of English overseas trade in the 17th & 18th centuries, London: Methuen, 1969.